Workbench Book Highlights

Notes from Work­benches book.  It's dense with great knowl­edge.  A must have if you're build­ing a work­bench.  Here are just a few of the things I high­lighted.

  • South­ern Yel­low Pine, 2x12x12 untreated (2x12 or 2x10's, not 2x4' — they are the worst for knots, bow, etc.)
    I don't have South­ern Yel­low Pine here in OR so I used Dou­glas Fir — from what I can tell it's pretty sim­i­lar:
    South­ern Yel­low Pine Doug Fir
    E Value (stiff­ness) 1.93 1.95
    Speci­fic Grav­ity (weight) .67 .48
    Janka (hard­ness) 690 660
  • Dri­est wood for any­thing with a tenon, wettest for any­thing with a mor­tise. Wet mor­tises will shrink on the dry tenons.
    So wettest for top and legs
  • At least 5' long
  • 24" deep
  • 0 top over­hang
  • make front stretch­ers flush with top
  • face vice on the left
  • rear jaws of vice flush with front of top
  • dog spac­ing should be 3–4", 3" rec­om­mended
  • the line of dog holes is usu­ally nearer the front edge than it is to the cen­ter­line of the top
  • Top of table saw is usu­ally 34" from the floor, so a slightly shorter work­bench makes a great out­feed table.
  • Height: From the floor to where your pinky joins your hand.
  • Thick­ness: 4" or more
  • Gal­lon of slow set­ting glue like Tite­bond Extend
  • Spread the glue with card­board
  • Make sure grain is run­ning in the same direc­tion since you'll be hand plan­ning later
  • Plan sec­tions so bow faces the inside of the assem­bly
  • Use ply­wood spac­ers to cre­ate tenons in your legs
  • Plane a 1#4" x 1#4" cham­fer on the bot­tom edge of the legs to keep them from snag­ging when slid­ing the bench
  • attach­ing the top — lots of notes.  I found this topic oddly miss­ing from numer­ous other arti­cles.  Tenons go half way through the top and are attached with­out glue.
  • mark high spots with chalk then plane them off

After look­ing at numer­ous plans I decided on the $175 Work­bench plans as my main guide.

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